Nasal Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

One of the more common plastic surgery procedures, rhinoplasty is performed to reshape, reduce or augment a person's nose, remove a hump, narrow nostril width, change the angle between the nose and the mouth, or to correct injury, birth defects, or other problems that affect breathing. Results depend on the patient's nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age (teenagers should have completed their growth spurt). Insurance may partially cover rhinoplasty if it is done for reconstructive or medical reason, but not for cosmetic purposes.

Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under either sedation or general anesthesia. Surgeons use one of two techniques: incisions are either made within the nose, thus hiding scars after surgery, or across the columella, the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils in an "open" procedure. This scar is small and hidden on the underside of the base. In both procedures, the skin is lifted and the bone and cartilage are sculpted to the desired shape and form.

For a short time after surgery you may experience puffiness, nose ache, a dull headache, some swelling and bruising, bleeding or stuffiness. Most patients feel like themselves within two days and return to work in about a week. Contact lenses can be worn immediately, but glasses will have to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to six weeks.

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